Spring in Murcia comes much earlier than in more northern parts of Europe. Here, winter is over almost as soon as it begins. While we can find ourselves enjoying a log fire at night, February is normally full of beautiful warm days with stunning blue skies. A perfect time to go exploring and the Cieza Spring blossoms should definitely be added to the list!
In spring our attention turns inland and it is the turn of the Floración de Cieza (fruit tree blossom season), up around the lovely town of Cieza in northern Murcia. This area becomes one of the most picturesque imaginable with thousands of acres of the most vibrant blossom displays. Many of these hundreds of colorful orchards are framed by a stunning background of mountains and river valleys.
A Season to Celebrate
The blossom season usually starts in February and ends in early April with the floral peak generally occurring during the first few weeks of March. Different varieties of peach, almond, apricot, and plum trees all come into their own during this time and it is a feast for the eyes.
The production of fruit trees in these parts can be traced as far back as the 3rd century AD after a peach seed was found inside the Cueva Sima de la Serreta, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Cieza is a small town at the heart of this display. This normally much less visited area turns into a wonderland of pink and white blossoms. Covering thousands of hectares, the fruit trees burst into bloom signaling the beginning of spring.
Visitors are welcomed and different events are organized throughout this time. Including tours, regular artisan markets, concerts, and a photography competition. The local restaurants will often have special seasonal set menus for the occasion. Many of these focus on local products with peaches often featuring on the menu and the Trenza Ciezana (ciezana braid) is a particular favorite.
It is worth a stop in this tiny city. The natural beauty of the area combined with the Mountains that hang over it and the clean water from the Segura River passing by. The ancient agricultural traditions make spring in Cieza a must-see moment.
Go for the Day
Take in as much of the area as possible by car or relish the close proximity of the blossoms by bike or on foot but take your time to enjoy it. The main routes are well signposted or you can just enjoy driving around the area and see where you end up. All that fresh air can make you hungry so why not stop for lunch in one of the many Ventas or have a picnic down by the river.
If you bring a bike, park at the Area Recreativa De El Horno where you can go down to the river and follow one of the walking and cycling trails around the valley. There are several viewpoints along this road and perfect for taking photos.
Not too far away you can find the Floración visitor center which sits on top of a hill and offers incredible views.
Guided tours of various lengths are available. For more information about guided tours, see the official Floración de Cieza website. It is in Spanish but you can use a translation tool to set it to any language you want.
If you have time to explore the area, consider including the Ricote Valley, Calasparra, Caravaca de la Cruz, and the beautiful Salto del Usero in Bullas on your way back to your very own Spanish Dream Casa.